Lewis: I was praying: ‘please rain’.

Lewis Hamilton’s prayers were answered in the Belgian Grand Prix when the heavens opened with just a few laps to go, leaving the British ace to pick up the victory as Kimi Raikkonen slipped up and careered into the wall.

“It was a race and a half,” said Hamilton afterwards. “I could see Kimi ahead and after the second pit stop he was so far ahead that I was just pushing and pushing trying to close the gap. It was mix and match. I was just praying ‘please rain’, I wanted it to rain because I know how to deal with it.”

“So the heavens opened and I saw Kimi begin to back off, and then the fight was on. At Turn 12 I went really wide; Rosberg had spun onto the track and I nearly crashed into the side of him, Kimi almost did the same, and I went over the grass. Kimi spun again and it was straight forward from there.”

When the rain first began to fall, Hamilton closed right up on Kimi and managed to get close enough to challenge the Ferrari driver at the Bus Stop chicane. But Raikkonen held his ground and forced the Briton to cut the track. To avoid a penalty Hamilton then backed off to allow Raikkonen to re-take the lead, before passing him into La Source hairpin.

“He pushed me wide (at the Bus Stop), I was slightly ahead, and I was on the outside: he should have been fair as I had no room.

“He basically pushed me onto the kerb and I took the escape road. I let him past but then caught his toe. He was ducking and diving, I did the same and managed to get him. He hit me again on the apex (of La Source), but I was pretty much on the go.”